Oklahoma Lawmakers File Bill To Criminalize Illegal Immigration

Leaders at the state capitol say they had to file legislation making illegal immigration unlawful on a state level because nothing is being done on the federal level to secure the border.

Tuesday, April 16th 2024, 7:03 am

By: News 9


Leaders in the Oklahoma House and Senate have filed a bill that they say will protect Oklahomans from problems at the U.S.-Mexico border.

They say the bill is necessary because federal leaders, particularly under President Joe Biden's administration, have failed to effectively address the border issues.

Republican leaders in Oklahoma have criticized the administration, saying nothing is being done to control the border on the federal level, so state lawmakers are forced to take action.

Right now, it is illegal, under federal law, to cross over the border undocumented. This Oklahoma bill would go a step further and make it illegal under state law.

The proposed bill introduces the 'crime of impermissible occupation,' which would entail criminal charges and a mandatory requirement for anyone illegally entering and remaining in Oklahoma to leave the state within 72 hours.

Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall say they have modeled this bill after State Bill 4 from Texas, which is intended to discourage immigration.

The bill reads: “The Legislature finds and declares that a crisis exists in Oklahoma. Throughout the state, law enforcement comes into daily and increasingly frequent contact with foreign nationals who entered the country illegally or who remain here illegally.”

Since it is a bill from the House Speaker and the pro tem, the legislation is eligible to go straight to the House floor.

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